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Unknown17 Days: The Story of Newspaper History in the Making (1945)

something has gone horribly wrong 8-p
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How a New York City newspaper delivery drivers' strike in 1945 failed to divert readers' interest in their favorite newspapers. Shows the newspapers of the day and huge lines of people outside newspaper offices waiting to purchase updated editions. In Kodachrome.

This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives

Producer: Unknown
Sponsor: New York Daily News
Audio/Visual: Sd, C
Keywords: Media: Newspapers; Labor: Strikes; New York City

Creative Commons license: Public Domain

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Downloaded 48,448 times
Average Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars3.25 out of 5 stars3.25 out of 5 stars3.25 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: a.alizadeh - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - January 16, 2013
Subject: uhhhhh
Reviewer: JayKay49 - 2.00 out of 5 stars2.00 out of 5 stars - December 22, 2011
Subject: Not Today They Wouldn't
Except for those who like to do crossword puzzles I dont know many paople who ever look at a newspaper these days..mostly because of BS content - and the fact that we can always pull up the obits on the internet and even see if anybody left a "memory."

Unions havent changed tactics much though...they waited till the war was crescendoing to a dramatic victorious climax to stage the strike. Bravo AFL-CIO!

This film is laboriously repetitive and gets boring quite rapidly. Not one of the more entertaining ones.
Reviewer: Venckman - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - August 10, 2005
Subject: Lots of footage of people standing in line to buy newspapers.
If this, and hearing the circulation of various newspapers spoken in tones that suggest the narrator is hard of hearing, then this is the short for you. For a good time, please skip to the end where Mayor LaGuardia reads amusingly from the funny papers.
Reviewer: Spuzz - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - December 4, 2002
Endlessly fascinating documentary about how New York dealt with a 17 day newspaper strike. Obviously financed by the newspapers themselves, the story focuses on how New Yorkers were determined to get their newspaper, no matter how long the line to get it was. Interesting how Unions were barely mentioned in the film. This is also a brilliant snapshot of 1940's New York. Highly reccomended.


During the seventeen days of the newspaper delivery strike in New York, the public waited in two hour lines on the streets outside of newspaper plants in order to buy the paper. Although the news could be listened to over the radio, and Mayor LaGuardia is shown reading a Dick Tracy comic strip over the radio for the "kiddies", this film primarily shows the extreme lines that people were willing to wait in at this time in history in order to receive the news in print.

Close-up of a hand tearing off the page of a calendar -- "Today is Saturday, June 30, 1945"
People exiting an underground subway station
A busy city street
A woman in fuzzy slippers steps out to her porch and picks up a bottle of milk and a newspaper
A crowded urban street with a busy newspaper stand
Nearly empty newspaper stands
Yellow text, "STRIKE!" on a blue background zooms towards the camera
Pedestrians crossing at 5th Ave. and 42nd Street (New York City)
Newspaper headlines swirl in double exposures in the frame: "Morgenthau quits cabinet, Battleships . . .Japan, Truman is off to Europe for Big 3 Conference, 1,000 Planes Lash Tokyo"
Radio antennas
Man in an armchair, reading the newspaper, switches the dials on a radio
A woman in the same armchair, holds a newspaper and switches the radio dials
Radio announcers in front of microphones
Close-up of the lips of a radio announcer in front of a microphone marked, "WMCA"
Close-up of a switchboard, connections being changed
A sign with a red arrow, "New York Herald Tribune On Sale"
Shots from above of pedestrians walking on New York City sidewalks
Strikers wearing signs and pacing on the sidewalk
Men standing in a line on the sidewalk
". . .downtown, near the New Jersey commuting terminal", a line on a narrow street waiting to go into the telegraph building
Shot directly above panning along a two-person line
A line of people moving along 3rd Avenue
A boy sitting on the street reads a newspaper
"N.Y. Mayor LaGuardia Solves Newspaper Strike For Kiddies" (Fox Movietone News footage of Fiorello LaGuardia reading comics over WNYC radio station)
"Prepared by Jack Haney, Introduced by Lowell Thomas"
People entering a subway station
An American flag

The effect of a strike on the press. Direct sales from loading dock. La Guardia reads the comics; NY learned that if the newspaper could not go to the public, the public would go to the newspaper; ends with American Flag.
Excellent newsstands, commuters, pedestrians people streaming out of subway, and the newspaper business in mid-1940's in color! Also good shots of radio newscasters (call letters of stations on microphones: (ie. NBC, WNEW, etc.)

Fashions for the Office
Strangely angled shots of women in the office
Dog show
Fire in buildings - huge plume of smoke
Shot of burning building - dark sky
More burning building - dark sky
WS Entire sky filled with smoke

Another WS of sky filled with smoke

Untitled, no sound
Office shots
POV shot down at man's feet walking on sidewalk
Strange window reflection
Military parade
Skyline of New York City from water
CU Comic strips
Bizarre scenes of Mayor LaGuardia reading the comics on the radio
CU LaGuardia: "And, so children what does that mean? It means that dirty money never brings any luck! Remember, this was the money that the dope peddler, the racketeer, had in a safe deposit box. This was dirty money, like a gambler's money. No, dirty money always brings sorrow and sadness and misery and disgrace."
LaGuardia goes back to reading comics.


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